Cognitive status and quality of life in patients with suspected versus proven low-grade gliomas

Neurology. 2001 Mar 13;56(5):618-23. doi: 10.1212/wnl.56.5.618.


Background: The preferred management of patients with suspected low-grade gliomas (S-LGG) remains controversial. The benefits of resection or radiotherapy early in the course of the disease have not been proven in terms of survival. Little is known about the effects of early therapy on quality of life (QOL) and cognitive status. The authors compared functional status, QOL, and cognitive status of patients suspected of having a LGG, in whom treatment was deferred, and patients with proven LGG (P-LGG), who underwent early surgery.

Methods: The authors recruited 24 patients suspected of having an LGG. These patients were matched with 24 patients with a histologically proven LGG and healthy control subjects for educational level, handedness, age, and gender. The two patient groups were also matched for tumor laterality, use of anticonvulsants, and interval between diagnosis and testing. Functional status was determined in both patient groups. QOL and cognitive status were compared between the three groups.

Results: Matching criteria and functional status did not differ significantly between groups. Both patient groups scored worse on QOL scales than healthy control subjects. Unoperated patients with S-LGG scored better on most items than patients with P-LGG. Cognitive status was worse in both groups than in healthy control subjects, but, again, patients with S-LGG performed better than patients with P-LGG.

Conclusion: These data suggest that a wait-and-see policy in patients with S-LGG has no negative effect on cognitive performance and QOL.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glioma / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Time Factors